Don’t Count Out BlackBerry Enterprise Service for Mobile Device Management Just Yet

Paula Musich

Paula Musich

Summary Bullets:

  • With the much ballyhooed launch of BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, Research In Motion –  now called BlackBerry – is delivering a single management UI for managing iPhones, Android devices, and BlackBerry smartphones.
  • Enterprises that have significant BES infrastructure in place may want to consider RIM/BlackBerry for their broader, multi-device management needs.

As your IT shop evaluates mobile device management (MDM) and mobile applications management (MAM) products to help enforce BYOD policies, do not rule out the former Research In Motion (RIM), the creator of the BlackBerry, for which the company is now named.  If your enterprise is already a heavy user of BlackBerry’s Enterprise Server and its devices, you may find that the expanded level of iOS and Android support is enough to cover the basics.  With the rollout of BES 10, RIM/BlackBerry created a single console allowing administrators to control legacy BlackBerry devices, new BlackBerry 10 devices, as well as iOS and Android devices.  Underneath that uber-console are two distinct management platforms: BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, a next-generation management platform that controls Android, iPhone, BlackBerry 10, and PlayBook 2.0 smartphones and tablets; and BES, for managing legacy BlackBerry handhelds.  Both management platforms include the company’s BlackBerry Balance containerization technology, which uses app wrapping to create secure policy wrappers around each corporate application and the data associated with it.  App wrapping does not require source code changes to secure the applications, and RIM/BlackBerry’s implementation allows administrators to wipe corporate apps and data if the device is lost, stolen, or otherwise compromised.  The company intends to deliver similar capabilities for Android and iOS by May.  Although management functions for non-BlackBerry devices will not be as rich as BlackBerry management, given that the company cannot control those other OSs and it still favors its own devices, they may be sufficient for enterprises that still lean on BlackBerry devices for personal productivity applications that are more secure. Read more of this post

Monitoring and Managing Business Applications in Hybrid Clouds: Technical Elegance or Road-kill?

Joel Stradling

Joel Stradling

Summary Bullets:

  • Monitoring the health of virtual infrastructure, for example on-demand computing resources and business-critical applications, running across hybrid clouds is a challenge
  • New generation cloud-aware and software management developers such as Intigua are emerging to help simplify unchartered waters of virtualizing servers, networks, and storage infrastructure

A lot of enterprises do not have even basic applications performance management and monitoring tools in place, especially where the applications in use work just fine on a best effort traffic basis, so applications that are non-latency dependant, and non-critical to business function or production. The contrast to this is where applications are seen as business-critical and in such cases the organization’s IT department is most likely to invest in an applications performance management (APM) solution from a range of choices. Service providers have made progress to meet the need for visibility on the WAN for business critical applications they are running on behalf of clients with the result all the major carriers offering data networks services proffer a backing range of APM solutions for customers. The same is nearly true for cloud-based service, but not quite! The industry is pretty good at monitoring and managing performance of physical network and infrastructure, including in the WAN. There are plenty of legacy premises-based choices, and software for management, but the cloud-aware and virtualized management layer for multiple IT resources sitting on distributed and shared cloud platforms is more of a work in progress. Read more of this post

Taking Cloud to Both Ends of the Spectrum

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • As enterprises embrace the cloud for broader use, providers are responding in kind with improved functionality and more services options aimed at customers at either end of the market spectrum (i.e., large enterprises and entry-level users).
  • Is there a risk these solutions will leave out the bulk of customers in the middle?

A new year means a new set of predictions for what is to come in the months ahead for IT.  Front and center in most prognostications are projections about 2013 being a big year for the cloud.  You won’t hear any arguments to the contrary here, as all signs point to broader market acceptance of and demand for cloud services.  At the same time, cloud providers are stepping up their portfolios with better features, simpler ordering and provisioning, and new pricing models that match the needs of a more diverse prospect pool.  Read more of this post

Software Defined Networks: Is the Technology Catching Up with the Hype?

Mike Spanbauer

Mike Spanbauer

Summary Bullets:

  • SDN may have begun academically focused on enterprise LAN needs, but carrier interest is intense and driving innovation as well.
  • More SDN solutions are materializing out of powerpoints and into reality today, with some creative and innovative answers to challenging problems in the past – but when will adoption begin to accelerate?

SDN may be the most exciting networking technology since the advent of Internet Protocol (IP).  At its most fundamental, the concept of SDN provides a construct by which we can discuss the implementation of services within the fabric of the network itself, whether by decentralized routing & flow tables or the abstraction of more advanced network services that are embedded within the network intelligence itself.  There are many approaches, many proposals and of course many vendors vying for a piece of the pie that is in the oven.  It is likely that 2013 is when early momentum will begin. Cisco’s C-Scape in 2012 promised several elements of its One-PK solution would materialize in H1 2013, Juniper has come out with its own rather encompassing SDN vision, and HP has had enough time in the market to get traction (given the long sales cycles on a solution this complex), to name a few.  There are some truly great technology suppliers working in concert (mostly) to move the proverbial ball forward.  However, the question I get asked the most often remains “Is the need real?”, i.e., whether the market currently has a particular need that cannot be addressed or solved another way to which I have replied previously “Not yet, but soon.” Read more of this post

What’s in a (Cloud, Hosted) Name?

Cindy Whelan

Cindy Whelan

Summary Bullets

  • The last couple of years have brought increased visibility to “the cloud,” driven in part by the economic environment.
  • Cloud and hosted models have some similar elements; some marketers use the terms interchangeably, adding confusion to the market.

Over the last several years, the communications marketplace has been inundated with news of “cloud” services, offering businesses the promise of cost savings in a challenging economic environment.  It has been difficult to find a news article or press release from a service provider touting its latest unified communications offer without the word “cloud” in the headline, or at least in the body of the release.  Some services previously referred to as hosted are being rebranded as cloud-based; marketing collateral sometimes uses the terms interchangeably, further muddying the waters. Read more of this post

Managed Mobility Services Still a Work in Progress

Kathryn Weldon

Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Current Analysis has completed its analysis of global operators’ managed mobility services  (see Global Managed Mobility Services 2013: Who’s on Top?, December 16, 2013).
  • There was steady progress but not transformations in providers’ portfolios.  Work remains for BYOD, mobile apps, mobile security, and virtualization.

Every year, Current Analysis looks at the managed mobility services (MMS) of the U.S. and European-based operators, compares their strategies and services, and ranks them according to their core services, value-added services, availability, customer traction, and the progress they have made in fleshing out their portfolios.  We discovered that service providers have added more third-party solution partners, better defined their professional services, began to articulate BYOD-focused offerings, and improved the way they present and position their MMS portfolios.  However, while last year there appeared to be a mandate to broaden the scope of services by adding more sophisticated mobile application management tools, application development capabilities, and mobile security services, only some operators have made enhancements in these areas.  Operators are also discussing the synergy of MMS with their cloud and UC services, but the actual ‘convergence’ of these separate sets of services is still in the beginning stages.  While BYOD remains a major opportunity (and threat), many operators are still in trials with dual persona vendors and have not yet implemented advanced capabilities such as split billing for personal and business communications and transactions.  Below are a few other recommendations to MMS providers: Read more of this post

SAP Takes on IBM in 2013 with Simplified Enterprise Mobile Solution

Charlotte Dunlap

Charlotte Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • SAP’s rebranded SAP Mobile Platform integrates Sybase SUP, Syclo Agentry, and eventually all of Mobiliser
  • SAP’s go-to-market strategy is based on simplified MEAP, channel support, continued third-party development tool support

Following a whirlwind year in which SAP appeared to spend all its marketing dollars on its SAP HANA database product, SAP’s mobile platform news will be finally coming out of the shadows. Following the acquisition of Syclo early last year, the company has aggressive integration plans in 2013 aimed at simplifying and strengthening its mobile portfolio and insuring it stays on the radar of core competitors including IBM, Antenna, and eventually Oracle.  Read more of this post

It’s E-mail, Jim, but Not as We Know It

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Reports foretelling the death of e-mail are greatly exaggerated.  Thanks to its ubiquity and compatibility, e-mail communication is poised to outlive the Facebook generation.
  • However, for e-mail to flourish within the enterprise, it must be seen in an entirely new light, as a medium capable of contextualizing, prioritizing, and thereby elevating the efficacy of this type of content.

In season 1, episode 25 of Star Trek (the original series), Captain James T. Kirk and his indispensable science officer Mr. Spock come face to face with an apparently hostile creature (the Horta) capable of moving through solid rock.  (Yes, I’m a Trekkie.)  As it turns out, the creature’s malice was in response to a lack of understanding on the part of human kind, who failed to look beyond the alien nature of the silicon-based Horta to see the fact that it, like they, was only trying to protect itself and its loved ones.  Thankfully, after some initial missteps, the two parties were able to find commonality and begin working together very effectively. Read more of this post

Consumer Telematics Show Focuses on Opportunities and Obstacles for Connected Car

Kathryn Weldon

Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Consumer telematics (aka the connected car) is an exciting market, as auto OEMs are associating new infotainment and safety applications with their brands and experimenting with different subscription models.
  • Mobile operators have a huge stake in this market as they have an opportunity not only to increase connections but to participate in the larger value chain that includes embedded modems and smartphone integration, along with sales, marketing, subscriptions/service enablement, support, content delivery, and consulting and integration services.

The Consumer Telematics Show (CTS 2013) in Las Vegas on January 7 brought together the unique ecosystem that is delivering solutions for the connected car market, including auto manufacturers, chip and module manufacturers, operators, integrators, and content providers. While there is a lot of excitement about the opportunity, there also remain challenges: Read more of this post

AT&T Expands on Wireless Plans for Project Velocity IP Rollout

Brian Washburn

Brian Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • AT&T expects to add 10,000+ macro cells, 1,000+ DAS and 40,000+ small cells: These and other providers’ plans will keep installers busy.
  • AT&T has timetables for VoLTE (2014) and QoS (2015); LTE Advanced features are on the roadmap without target dates.

AT&T’s Project Velocity IP plans made a big splash when the company in November 2012 announced it expected to invest $14 billion in its networks. To recap what we covered at the time, AT&T plans to cover 300 million people – 96% of the U.S. population – with its 4G LTE and HSDPA+ network. The company continues to invest in spectrum, and intends to deploy distributed antenna systems (DAS) and small cells to increase its coverage. Read more of this post